Pitt Beats Syracuse with Basketball-like Record-Setting Football Score

PITTSBURGH (EYT) – In a game that featured 165 offensive plays, 1,312 offensive yards and 137 total points, Pitt outlasted Syracuse, 76-61, in the highest scoring regulation FBS game in history.

(Photo of Nathan Peterman. Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics)

Nathan Peterman threw four touchdowns for Pitt (8-4, 5-3 ACC), two to Jester Weah, and ran for a fifth while James Conner added to his ACC career touchdown marks with two rushing scores and a receiving touchdown.

Zack Mahoney tossed five scores of his own for the Orange (4-8, 2-6) with all five going to Amba Etta-Tawo and also ran for a score.

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi talked about the game.

The Panthers led 56-27 halfway through the third quarter before Syracuse cut the lead to two touchdowns, 56-41 thanks to a Mahoney scoring run and a Mahoney to Etta-Tawo touchdown pass with 11:16 to play in the game.

But after that the teams traded scores, each scoring three more times, in the final 9:33 with Syracuse scoring the game’s final touchdown on a 13-yard Mahoney to Etta-Tawo scoring pass with 58 seconds to play.

The game was tied at 14 after one quarter, but Pitt took a 35-21 halftime lead thanks to touchdown runs by George Aston (6 yards), Conner (9 yards) and Peterman (13 yards) with Peterman’s coming just 10 seconds before halftime ending an 8-play, 64-yard drive that took just 1:26 and answered a 5-yard Mahoney to Etta-Tawo touchdown pass with 1:36 to play in the half that looked like it was going to have Syracuse down just seven at the break.

Pitt then broke the game open with a pair of big plays in the first six minutes of the second half.

Dane Jackson picked off a Mahoney pass and returned it 20 yards for a score with 11:37 left in the third, and then Quadree Henderson broke free for a 66-yard scoring run with 8:59 left in the quarter to make it 49-21.

Peterman was 9 of 18 passing for 251 yards. He did throw an interception. Weah had four catches for 99 yards, while Dontez Ford had two grabs for 89 yards and a score.

Peterman talked about the game.

Conner ran for 115 yards and the two scores on 19 carries and caught two passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. Henderson also went over 100 yards rushing with 103 on just five carries.

Mahoney was 43 of 61 for 440 yards with the five scores and the interception. Etta-Tawo caught 13 passes for 178 yards and the five scores with Ervin Phillips adding 11 catches for 107 yards.

Pitt now awaits to see what Bowl Game it will play in. Syracuse’s season is over.


  • The 137 combined points broke the previous FBS record regulation total points of 136 set in Navy’s 74-62 win over North Texas in 2007
  • Pitt scored at least 40 for the third straight week but also gave up at least 30 for the ninth time this year and gave up 40 for the fourth time including the third time in the last four games.
  • Pitt’s basketball team scored 76 on Friday night in a win over Morehead State
  • There were only three fewer points scored in the football game between Pitt and Syracuse than the last time the two met in basketball in the ACC Tournament last year when Pitt won 72-68.
  • Watch game highlights

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